Mark Cavendish was relaxed and smiling as he signed on for Sunday?s criterium stage in the centre of Milan.
Cav is still looking for his first stage win in this year?s Giro and Team Columbia could complete a hat trick of stage wins if the young Brit gets the better of Alessandro Petacchi (LPR) and the other sprinters at the finish.
Cavendish hinted that Team Columbia had some special plans for the finish but didn?t want to reveal them.
Cavendish is not at his best but he will surely want to beat Petacchi win his first stage. Even a Cavendish at 80 per cent should be enough to beat Petacchi.
Sprint consultant Erik Zabel thinks so and told Cycling Weekly to expect a special sprint at the end of the 165km stage.
?The Milan stage is called the ?Milan Show 100? stage and we expect a show stage,? Zabel said.
?We hope for a sprint of the kings: Petacchi against Cavendish. Other guys have won stages and had the jerseys but it?ll be everything for Cav in Milan.?
Zabel is convinced he is finding some form after a week of racing at the Giro.
?Two days ago Mark seemed a little tired after the stage but he looked good after the stage to Chiavenna and he was good in Bergamo after the finish. Sitsou?s win was an extra unexpected success in Bergamo and so moral is sky high in the team. We hope we can win again in Milan.?
We will find out later this afternoon in Milan.
Watch out for our full report and photos after the stage finish
|Giro d’Italia 2009 links|
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Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad
Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage
Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break
Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin
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